For as long as our children can remember we, as a family, have spent our fourth of July holiday at Lake Okoboji with my side of the family.
The day is spent laughing, swimming, going to Arnold’s Park, getting a boat ride, watching fireworks and of course eating. It is a day to catch up with what siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins and friends have going on in their lives.
As I was mowing lawn the other day I had plenty of time to think about this day. It occurred to me that there was very little time during that day of celebration that I actually spend any time remembering the reason we can have this holiday.
I was remembering, as I was mowing, that the 4th was our nation’s birthday. I was also thinking about what it took to birth this nation. It took the dream of dedicated people, commitment that sometimes ended in death, courage in the face of great hardships, and the vision of our forefathers of what this nation could be. It took the life blood of those who have gone before and put their lives where their commitment was.
As a country we have not always done it “right” but we have always tried and been willing to back up our beliefs with our lives.
I would like to take this time to salute those who serve and have served in our military. I salute those who came home from that time of service and went on to live their lives. I also salute those who came home to a family that was filled with sorrow at having to lay them to rest.
I am especially remembering my cousin and his family who gave that full measure in the life of their son, grandson, and nephew; Julian.
I only ever met Julian one time at a family reunion several years ago. I don’t remember even speaking to him that weekend. Looking back he did not strike me as a hero……but I am finding that true heroes seldom are obvious at first glance.
True heroes do have that same commitment, dedication, courage and determination that our forefathers had when this country was birthed in hard work and bloodshed. The determination that all men are created equal, that the constitution drafted back then is still relevant today and that our bill of rights, our freedoms and our way of life are something worth fighting for and even worth dying for. The belief that people and values matter.
On this day, this birthday of our country, I want to remember all of those men and women who have served and the families they leave behind. I am in awe of your devotion to this country and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Freedom is never free.
The U.S. Military is us.
There is no truer representation of a country than the people
that it sends into the field to fight for it.
The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids,
and our job is to support them,
because they’re protecting us.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tomclancy413109.html?src=t_military